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Cockroach farm

Does anyone know anybody who can teach or train me on how to farm cock roaches. Also, what is needed to dry them or grind them? Thanks in advance!


  • Hi bugfan123, - Are you planning on rearing the "German" cockroach Blattella germanica? Their 1st instars (but not later instars) benefit from eating adult feces (more so female than male feces) which contain nitrogen & protein.

    However high protein diets are not the best for adults because they do not excrete a protein breakdown nitrogen metabolite (which they store inside specialized site & can re-mobilize if dietary nitrogen deficiencies arise). This evolutionary characteristic allows females in lean times to only need a bit more than 5% protein consumption to achieve a high rate of reproduction.

    Since all instars & adults are typically reared together (gives better rates of both reproduction & instar phases of develpment) be aware that at least 15% protein diets are best for their timely making of transitional juvenile hormone & the maturing of oocyte for fecundity. Several investigations concur that a ratio of 1 part protein to 3 part carbohydrate (as main ingredients) leads to minimal deaths among the general population of lab colonies. Yet fed really high protein & their consumption of food goes down, whereas they will self-adjust when need more protein by eating more food.

  • Thanks @gringojay for the advice.

  • That just blew my mind! Thanks! I was actually looking at farming some American Cockroaches. I am working on a thesis for school and we plan on using them for medicinal purposes there. Would they be raised the same way as German? Some organizations use dog food, cockroach feed, or left overs from everyday food to feed their roaches. If I use regular left overs then I will have to clean out the facility more often than using a form of dried food.

    Also, is it more humane to freeze them to kill them. I really do not want to deal with chemicals are use boiling water.

  • Hi bugfan123, - American cockroah store the metabolite (urate) from excessive nitrogen containing food for remobilization of nitrogen when diet is low in nitrogen, as do German cockroaches. Not all cockroaches do this.

    One notable difference between American & German cockroach is how their egg cases (oothecae) are managed pending egg hatching. The American female bug makes about 1 ootheca every month for up to 10 months having up to 16 eggs inside. Then she uses salivary secretion to stick the ootheca near food & those eggs take 6-8 weeks to emerge. The German female hold onto the ootheca, which has up to 40 eggs, & only lets it go right before eggs hatch.

    From egg to adulthood American cockroaches is commonly said to take 600 days, which only takes about 100 days for German cockroaches. However an old report described as brief as a 350 day nymphal span in Puerto Rico. Incidentally, if rearing them on dog food they will develop faster if the kibble is ground up for them, instead of provided as sold in pellets.

    What seems consistant for this kind of cockroach is that males take longer (up to 20 days) than females to reach adulthood. Once adult the American cockroach can live 400 days, but a single female over that time is only good for 150 progeny.

    In regards to euthanizing insects CO2 can induce anaesthesia prior to boiling water disinfection. A simple design of a CO2 chamber is seen in Fig.1 of (2011) Reed, Lock & Trim's "Safe laboratory management for arachnids of medical importance"; available on-line as free full pdf.

    For creating a CO2 chamber scaled to your situation consider how another team found that a 4.25 gram bug inside a 670 ml volume chamber getting an inflow at the valve controlled rate of 1/2 liter of CO2 per min. will take approximately 1.5 minutes to induce anasthesia. When put back into ambient air condition it revived in about 1.75 minutes; so in theory you'd have time for placing bug into boiling water or freezer.

    CO2 is also capable of killing insects, but understand this method is less traumatic using gradual (say 10 to no more than 30%/min.) displacement of the chamber's air volume with CO2 & then holding a lethal CO2 level long enough. I do not have specific bug CO2 euthanasia figures so will relate ranges reported for chicks. Newly hatched chicks need over 60% CO2 held for over 5 minutes before dies & batches of day old chicks die once CO2 rises to 90% in 2 minutes time.

  • Do you know where I can go to access a Business Plan from someone who already has a Roach farm or a Business Plan to someone who is farming insects? I feel that this will give me full clarity at once so I can make a final decision on my future efforts in this field.

  • Hi bugfan123, - Maybe you can contact the Forum member who has indicated he has business orientation to offer in the thread titled "Cost & profit". I personally do not have any experence in what you request.

  • Thank you!

  • I rear both American and german cockroach and the american cockroach is my preferred insect. Although they breed slower than the german cockroach they are much easier to contain and don't have the invasion potential of german roaches. Hope we can hear more about how bugfan is going with the project too.

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